Who saw Jesus first?


#1

According to the Gospels, Mary Magdelene was the first of Christ’s disciples to see him risen from the dead. But according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, his Mother was the first:(newadvent.org/cathen/09761a.htm)

At the Passion she [Mary Magdelene] stands near by; she sees Him laid in the tomb; and she is the first witness of His Resurrection–excepting always His Mother, to whom He must needs have appeared first, though the New Testament is silent on this point.

I’ve always believed that Mary Magdelene was the first, but did the Blessed Mother see her divine Son first, although the Gospels are silient on his account?


#2

I would have to go with the Gospels on this one. I’m not sure where NewAdvent is coming from, but hey, I learn something new everyday.


#3

[quote=youthcrusader]According to the Gospels, Mary Magdelene was the first of Christ’s disciples to see him risen from the dead. But according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, his Mother was the first:(newadvent.org/cathen/09761a.htm)

At the Passion she [Mary Magdelene] stands near by; she sees Him laid in the tomb; and she is the first witness of His Resurrection–excepting always His Mother, to whom He must needs have appeared first, though the New Testament is silent on this point.

I’ve always believed that Mary Magdelene was the first, but did the Blessed Mother see her divine Son first, although the Gospels are silient on his account?
[/quote]

The Catholic Encyclopedia at NewAdvent is not the same as the New Catholic Encyclopedia. If you look at the link you give, it says this:
In the New Testament she is mentioned among the women who accompanied Christ and ministered to Him (Luke 8:2-3), where it is also said that seven devils had been cast out of her (Mark 16:9). She is next named as standing at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56; John 19:25; Luke 23:49). She saw Christ laid in the tomb, and she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection.

It says nothing about Him appearing to his mother first. I’ve heard bad things about the New Catholic Encyclopedia…


#4

What’s the Gospel passage where He appears to her? Does it specifically say He appears to her first or does it just describe His appearing to her before describing His appearing to others?


#5

I just read the account in John 20 and it does not say that she was the first He appeared to, it simply describes His appearance to her. So it would be totally consistent with the Gospel for Him to have appeared toHis mother first. That being said, I don’t think there’s any official doctrine concering this issue.


#6

[quote=Genesis315]What’s the Gospel passage where He appears to her? Does it specifically say He appears to her first or does it just describe His appearing to her before describing His appearing to others?
[/quote]

I’m quoting from the Revised Standard Version of the New Testament:

1: Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre.

9: And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
10: Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

That was from Matthew, chapter 28.

1: And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag’dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo’me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
2: And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.

9: Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.

This is from Mark chapter 16, in which he makes it very explicit that Mary Magdelene was the first to see Christ risen.

1: But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.

10: Now it was Mary Mag’dalene and Jo-an’na and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles

This is from the Gospel according to St. Luke, chapter 24.

1: Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag’dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

11: But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb;
12: and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
13: They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."
14: Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
15: Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."
16: Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo’ni!” (which means Teacher).
17: Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
18: Mary Mag’dalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Here is the situation given my St. John in chapter 20. Between versuses 1 and 11, Mary goes to tell Peter that the tomb was empty, and after seeing the empty tomb, Peter believed. Then it says “the disciples went back to their homes”. (Jn 20:10) It is here after they leave that Mary is the first witness of the risen Christ. But where then does Christ appear to his mother first, since the gospels clearly omit this detail?


#7

Thanks for posting those. i should have been mor thorough. While John is ambiguous it seems that Mark is pretty straightforward. Thanks!


#8

I think this comes under the heading of pious tradition – small “t”. Actually, when Mary approaches the tomb, the soldiers assigned to guard it are lying on the ground. It is likely that they were the first to see Jesus . . . This is not a question that causes me to lose much sleep.


#9

Yes, I would call it a pious speculation. There is nothing in what we know that would argue for the impossibility of Jesus appearing first to his mother. But like many things she knew about Jesus, she was under no obligation to reveal it to anyone else. And naturally, if it happened, it is not recorded. So for our purposes, it is a pious speculation.


#10

[quote=JimG]Yes, I would call it a pious speculation. There is nothing in what we know that would argue for the impossibility of Jesus appearing first to his mother. But like many things she knew about Jesus, she was under no obligation to reveal it to anyone else. And naturally, if it happened, it is not recorded. So for our purposes, it is a pious speculation.
[/quote]

Yes, it does sound like a very pious tradition, that the Savior would first appear to his greatest disciple and first believer, his mother, the Blessed Virgin, but it seems to me to stand in direct opposition to St. Mark’s Gospel which clearly says: 9: Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.

Is there any documentation or early Christian writings that attest to this tradition?


#11

[quote=youthcrusader]Is there any documentation or early Christian writings that attest to this tradition?
[/quote]

Not that I am aware of, which is why I call it a speculation rather than a tradition.
If it happened, it would have been just between Jesus and Mary, with no one else including the apostles or evangelists knowing about it. They couldn’t write what they didn’t know.


#12

The soldiers at the tomb probably did not see Christ himself, but the angel that came down and moved the rock etc…

The Blessed Virgin Mary probably did see Christ first, as His Mother, Best Disciple, and the supreme symbol of the Church who is the first to behold the Risen Christ.

It would certainly explain where he was all that time that people kept going back and forth from the empty tomb but before he appeared to Mary Magdalene.


#13

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